Thank goodness for the remote control. This election season's news cycle is making many Americans feel disheartened, but with a simple click of the remote, we can be transported to the scripted reality of our choosing. Unsurprisingly though, even when it comes to television, it seems American's just can't agree.
Cable and Internet provider CableTV.com used data from IMDb's "Most Popular TV Shows" list and Google Trends from the last 12 months to determine the TV show each state (and Washington D.C.) loves more than any other state in the Unites States. For example, we all love Stranger Things, but the good people of Maine have more Stranger Things fans per capita. Something they should be very proud of.
The results were then put into this very handy infographic map.
Similar to a map they created for reality show preferences, CableTV's map tells an interesting story about Americans. In this case, that as Americans we like to watch stories about ourselves.
Most states prefer shows that take place in their region and feature characters that speak with regional dialects. For example, Californians like to watch the goings on in Palo Alto on Silicon Valley. The residents of Washington D.C. want to see what Olivia Pope is going to do next in Washington D.C. on Scandal. The good people of Tennessee like to watch the drama unfold in Nashville on Nashville.
CableTV also collected data on each states education, crime, and income levels to provide more insight into what our television preferences say about us.
States with higher incomes and education levels, like Maryland and Wyoming, tend to prefer dark dramas like The Wire (which is also set in Baltimore, Maryland) and snarky comedies, like Orange is the New Black, while states with lower incomes, like Mississippi, and education levels, like Texas, prefer small-town dramas, like Friday Night Lights (again, set in Texas), and crime dramas, like Narcos.
You know who else loves crime dramas? Criminals. CableTV's data shows that states with higher crime rates, like New Mexico, prefer shows that glorified bad behavior like Breaking Bad. Those with relatively low rates, like Vermont, tend to lean toward paranormal shows, like The X-Files.
Meanwhile, in places where there is a higher rate of church attendance, CableTV found there were correlating higher rates of marriage and higher populations of children. Therefore, those states viewing choices tended to lean toward PG-rated programming like Utah's favorite Once Upon a Time, while the states with lower church attendance rates and fewer children per capita tended to watch more violent and adult shows like West Virginia's favorite Prison Break.
Basically, the United States is a country of television narcissists, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
If you're not the "look at a map' type, here are the top shows by state:
Alabama: Legends of Tomorrow
Alaska: Star Trek
California: Silicon Valley
Colorado: South Park
Connecticut: Gossip Girl
District of Columbia: Scandal
Illinois: New Girl
Iowa: Two and a Half Men
Kansas: The Flash
Kentucky: One Tree Hill
Louisiana: Queen Sugar
Maine: Stranger Things
Maryland: The Wire
Massachusetts: Ray Donovan
Minnesota: The Simpsons
Mississippi: Friday Night Lights
Montana: Blue Bloods
Nebraska: Modern Family
New Hampshire: The Fosters
New Jersey: The Sopranos
New Mexico: Breaking Bad
New York: Gotham
North Carolina: The Blacklist
North Dakota: Parks and Recreation
Ohio: How I Met Your Mother
Rhode Island: Law & Order: SVU
South Carolina: Vice Principals
South Dakota: The Big Bang Theory
Utah: Once Upon A Time
Vermont: The X-Files
Washington: Cold Feet
West Virginia: Prison Break
Wyoming: Orange is the New Black